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Thread: Copy right...what's the bottom line?

  1. #1
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    Copy right...what's the bottom line?

    I have been asked to make a few of my bow tucks purses for a friend to sell at a bazaar. Is that okay? I'm so confused when I read all the copy right postings. Please help.

  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I see people sell them on etsy all the time, but not sure!!

  3. #3
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    With the bow tucks bag, the designer gives you permission on her website! Print it off, and laminate it, so you can present it if anyone ever asks!

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    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    good on you for asking ;-)

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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    bottom line is---if you are using a commercial pattern---check the pattern for the permissions given-often the designer will include permission to sell, display, personal use only ect-
    if there is no such permission anywhere to be found- send an email & ask- it doesn't cost anything to ask permission to use someone's design- and always give credit where credit is due- include the name of the pattern or designer on your label- don't try to claim it as your own.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    Thanks Jacquie, I will check out her website. Appreciate the responses....had seen a lot of discussion on the subject. I didn't want my friend to get to the bazaar and get in trouble!

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    Everything I have read states that you may not share the pattern, but what you make from the pattern is your property to give or sell as you so desire. The pattern or book is copyrighted, but no one can copyright the product made from the pattern. The way I understand it, material is the same. You cannot sell a bolt of material without permission, but the moment you cut the material into pieces and make something, it is yours to do with as you please. I have not been able to find any evidence that a court upheld a copyright in favor of the copyright holder where the issue was a product made from the pattern, book or material.

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    The way I understand it, material is the same. You cannot sell a bolt of material without permission,

    I think you cannot COPY the bolt of material, but you can resell the bolt of material. We find bolts of material on Craig's List, at yard sales, etc. on EBay. You can't reprint the fabric design and reproduce the fabric.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    The way I understand it, material is the same. You cannot sell a bolt of material without permission,

    I think you cannot COPY the bolt of material, but you can resell the bolt of material. We find bolts of material on Craig's List, at yard sales, etc. on EBay. You can't reprint the fabric design and reproduce the fabric.
    Sorry, I misspoke. I meant trademarked or licensed material, things like Disney, etc. You can't legally resell the material, but you can make items from it and sell them. You cannot, however, advertise them as a Disney product. (example a Mickey Mouse purse)

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    I think this got lost on the other thread but this is from an attorney in the state of NH.

    I posed this question a few yeas ago to an Intellectual Property Attorney and this was her response:

    ****
    This is my question – can I purchase a pattern – any pattern – and make that product for resale.

    Update 3/15/10: I called an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer this morning and she said that what you make from patterns is not protected under copyright. All that is protected is the pattern itself. Sew forth and multiply.
    *****

    Unless the design is unique rather than common there are so many variations of the finished product the designer cannot make this statement. Think patchwork pattern, the "basic black dress", shorts or tank top patterns, child's sundress pattern, tote bag. They all follow the same fundamentals but the outcome is different.
    Nancy

    Just keep sewing!

  12. #12
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I had the same question about Bow tucks - I emailed the woman who wrote the pattern and she told me I could make and sell all the totes I wanted as long as I made them on my home machine and not in a factory. So your friend will be ok to sell them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlong View Post
    Sorry, I misspoke. I meant trademarked or licensed material, things like Disney, etc. You can't legally resell the material, but you can make items from it and sell them. You cannot, however, advertise them as a Disney product. (example a Mickey Mouse purse)
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!

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    Sure you can sell the items, you just can't title them in such a way as to confuse the public into thinking they are licensed items. And you should always include a disclaimer.

    "they take your stuff" - where does that statement come from?

    Precious Moments v La Infantil, 971 F. Supp. 66 (D.P.R. 1997). Precious Moments sues to stop La Infantil from making and selling bedding from copyrighted, licensed fabric. Court ruled bedding items manufactured with lawfully acquired, authentic fabric with copyrighted design were not infringing derivative works, Court did require La Infantil to attach a notice with a disclaimer. Precious Moments lost because of the First Sale Doctrine.

    Scarves By Vera, Inc. v. American Handbags, Inc, 188 F. Supp. 255 - US: Dist. Court, SD New York 1960. Vera markets a line of women's products and accessories. American Handbags began using her towels with her logos on them to make handbags. Vera sued. The court dismissed her claims but did require American Handbags to include a better disclaimer.

    And read here:

    http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/.../Schools.shtml

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    Super Member athenagwis's Avatar
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    I think the best thing you said on your site tabberone is about how it would be if a car company could restrict where you can drive the car you buy from them. that just hits home how silly all this supposed restriction on the end product really is.

    Just because the companies' try to stop someone from selling items made from "licensed" fabrics does not make it legal, but do you have the money to pay an attorney to go against them anyway? So while it may technically be legal to make items from "licensed" fabric, until everyone gets that memo and stops trying to sue people that make items from their fabrics, I would tread carefully.

    Rachel

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    We never had an attorney. We learned stuff when M&M/Mars sued us. A 396 page 4 lb lawsuit where they threatened to bankrupt us. We stumbled on the Precious Moments case and First Sale Doctrine. That's all we had against the #3 ranked IP law firm in the east. When we fought back they settled in our favor. Corporations are bullies.

    Several years ago (sadly after we had sued our last fabric company) the Stanford School of Law took us on as a class project and provided us with two law suits to use if we had any more problems. We didn't but another seller we know got shut down by Laurel Burch, used the suit on our website and got them to settle in her favor.

    The key point is that a school like Stanford wouldn't have done this if we were in the wrong.

    And we don't know of any other suits where people got sued for using the fabric. Precious Moments was back in 1996. Mars against us was 2002 and they settled. If you know of any other suits we would love to get that information.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!
    jaciqltznok, I'm not sure why you insist on telling folks they can't sell items made using licensed fabric? Yes, you can sell clothes you made using licensed college fabrics. I personally have explained this to you when you've made this statement in other threads. You probably missed seeing them so I thought I'd repeat it here. I hope I'm not offending you by pointing this out, I'm only trying to help all the fighting to die down.
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!
    Source? How can they just take your stuff?

    Im pretty sure they can tell you that you can't sell, but they can't actually enforce it. You can't create an appliqué using solid fabric in the design of a trademarked logo/character and you have to be careful in your wording. If you use Mickey mouse fabric to make a blanket you shouldn't sell it as a "Mickey mouse blanket" but rare a "blanket made with Mickey mouse fabric" if that makes sense. You couldn't use solid colored fabric and turn it into a mickey mouse face and sell it though.

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    make tote bags your own way. change things. making tote bags is generally done in the same manner, but change some designs and it's "yours" to do with as you wish. designers are trying to make money, who can blame them? but we all need money these days and we all have brains. good luck.

  20. #20
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!
    Please tell us of YOUR ..FIRST Hand knowledge on this point.

  21. #21
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I am not a pattern designer, but I am a quilt maker. I don't think a pattern designer should have any say on what you do with a product made from their pattern - you did buy it afterall. They have made their money on the sale of the pattern, if they want to make money on the sale of the product, they should produce it and sell it themselves.

    That being said, I don't sell my quilts or handbags that I make, I give them away. I think the only time I ever got money for a quilt was when a friend wanted a quilt I had made and I let her pay for the longarm quilting.

    We could all use a little extra money (or a lot - lol) and I think as long as you don't sell a pattern that you purchased, then you should be able to do whatever you want with it.

  22. #22
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    you can sell trademarked fabric...you can NOT sell items made from that fabric! Especially Collegiate fabrics..OY do they love to take your stuff if you don't pay them $150 a year per school to sell your UNIQUE handcrafted items using their licensed fabric!
    She is completely off the mark when she says you can't sell items made from licensed fabric. Yes, you CAN sell items made with licensed fabrics. What you can't do is weave new fabric and add identical copies of the team logo. In other words, you can't copy their fabric, and then use your fabric copy it to sell items you've made.

    I think she's confused about "copying"... it is illegal to make identical collegiate logos and sell the identical collegiate logos. For example, you can't embroider an identical copy of the teams logo onto a sweatshirt and then sell the sweatshirt. If you do, yes, they will "take your stuff" you are selling and take you to court.

    All this fighting will die down as soon as more and more quilters realize what their rights are. On this thread alone, it shows the word about harassment is getting out and ladies are becoming informed. Keep on keeping on... the harassment by a few will stop ruining it for the rest of us eventually!
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  23. #23
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    bottom line is---if you are using a commercial pattern---check the pattern for the permissions given-often the designer will include permission to sell, display, personal use only ect-
    if there is no such permission anywhere to be found- send an email & ask- it doesn't cost anything to ask permission to use someone's design- and always give credit where credit is due- include the name of the pattern or designer on your label- don't try to claim it as your own.
    This is incorrect advice... well meaning, yes, but you're wrong. "Permission" printed on a designer's pattern is harassment of the consumer if the designer is trying to imply that their copyright controls what can the buyer can/can not do with a product made from the pattern. Implying that the buyer needs to "ask permission" is a scare tactic and harassment.

    Your comment "it doesn't cost anything to ask permission" can be explained this way....
    Let's say a pattern designer puts permission on her pattern that says "you may jump in a lake no more than 3 times when using my pattern." And when someone asks a question about the restriction allowing only 3 jumps into the lake, you pop up and say "you should ask for permission before jumping in the lake, it's the polite thing to do."

    As soon as well-meaning folks learn the truth about copyright issues, all this fighting will die down. I, for one, am more than weary of explaining the truth to people, but it's worth it to trudge forward because quilting is so much fun!
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

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    Red face

    I am so grateful for all the discussion on copyrights. I can now feel confident I am doing the "right" and "legal" thing when I get to the point of making things for sale. I think the thread contributors did a pretty good job of correcting erroneous information without offending. We have a great forum.
    Cheryl Robinson
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  25. #25
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    Question: For those of families that know nothing about fabric , patterns or quilting-----their quilting member dies--so they sell all there quilting items incl. those copyrighted --what then---No, if you buy with money an item it is yours incl. the patterns. If you don't want to brag and publish your patterns for others to use--keep it secret and don't publish it. How real unfriendly. A method can be copyrighted and licensed. Too many people out in the world sewing and quilting.. Where does the arguing and bickering stop! This is also killing Guilds. Some people are so afraid they are loosing money when they are loosing their friendly personality and good works rewards. You people can sue if you want but you can not get blood from a turnip.

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